Martinsville, Virginia ~ Pastor's Page
Summer is here and so are plans for Power in the Spirit. We are so lucky in the Virginia Synod to have an opportunity like Power in the Spirit every summer. It is our opportunity to grow spiritually with classes and fellowship with other Lutherans. I am planning to go. Iíll take you with me if you want to go, too.
I am especially interested in going because the Rev. Dr. Jim Nestingen will be the keynote speaker. He has written extensively and spoken all over the country about Lutheran theology. He is professor emeritus of Church History at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. I first heard him speak at Power in the Spirit about 13 years ago. The best thing about Dr. Nestingen is that heís like a Lutheran pastor version of Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame. He can tell powerful stories of real people in everyday situations to make his teaching come alive. He was a serious contender for Presiding Bishop of the ELCA at the last election in 2001. Usually, I go to Power in the Spirit for the classes. But, this year, I will be going mainly to hear Jim Nestingen. The classes will be a bonus on top of his talks.
And, speaking of the classes, there are two classes on how to introduce your congregation to the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship book. There are also a couple of classes by Pr. Brad Hales, who came to speak to us about congregational renewal. I am hoping I can talk at least one of you into going to one of those classes so I am free to go to others.
The sessions for Power in the Spirit are spread across three days. Events actually begin on Thursday about 1:30 PM with worship. Often, worship at Power in the Spirit gives you a chance to sing and hear new hymns and new liturgies. Thatís in addition to worshipping with a couple of hundred other energetic Lutherans.
Worship is followed by the first keynote address and followed by a Bible study. This year, the Bible study will be lead by Dr. Susan McArver of my seminary alma mater Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. The Bible study breaks for supper and evening worship.
On Friday, the day consists of morning worship, another Bible study, Class session A, lunch, Class sessions B and C, supper, and a special program in the evening. On Saturday, there is worship, Class session D, the closing keynote address, and worship ending before lunch.
There have been many times when Power in the Spirit was real refreshment for my soul. This year, Iím going to take the time to enjoy it all again. Let me know if you want to go, too.
- Pr. Lynn Bechdolt